Adieu! Was ever such a long letter ? But 'tis nothing to what I shall have to say to you. I shall scold you for never telling us any news, public or private, no deaths, marriages, or mishaps; no account of new books: Oh, you are abominable! I could find it in my heart to hate you, if I did not love you so well; but we will quarrel now, that we may be the better friends when we meet: there is no danger of that, is there? Good night, whether friend or foe! I am most sincerely yours, HOK. WALPOLE. 37. To EICHAED WEST. From Florence, Nov. 1740. CHILD, I am going to let you see your shocking proceedings with us. On my conscience, I believe 'tis three months since you wrote to either Gray or me. If you had been ill, Ashton would have said so ; and if you had been dead, the gazettes would have said it. If you had been angry,—but that's impossible; how can one quarrel with folks three thousand miles off? We are neither divines nor commentators, and consequently have not hated you on paper. 'Tis to show that my charity for you cannot be interrupted at this distance that I write to you, though I have nothing to say, for 'tis a bad time for small news; and when Emperors1 and Czarinas2 are dying all up and down Europe, one can't pretend to tell you of anything that happens within our sphere. Not but that we have our accidents too. If you have had a great wind in England, we have had a great water at Florence. We have been trying to set out every day, and pop upon you3. ... It is fortunate that we LETTER 37. —l The Emperor Charles YI, d. Oct. 9, 1740. 2 Anne, Empress of Russia, d. Oct. 1740. 3 A line of the MS. is missing here.